The Effect Of The U.S. Government On Students

1028 words - 4 pages

Many students wonder why they should take Government class. They think that they are not affected by the actions of our government, or that learning about it will not help them at all in their life. Or worse, they think that they have no power to influence the government because of their age. Fortunately, none of these things are true. The United States Government is a big part of the lives of all American citizens, and that includes those who are under eighteen years old.
Our government has as much of an effect on students as it does on anybody else. Laws created, enforced, and interpreted by the different branches of government control what we can and cannot do. Public services are taken advantage of by adults and minors alike. Besides these obvious aspects, there are many others that more directly affect the everyday lives of students. Budgetary allotments to education determine the quality of the schools they attend every weekday. The education received by students ultimately alters what they will eventually go on to do in later life. Decisions made by the courts can change the way educational facilities are run and the rights of students while at school, such as Engel v. Vitale, Tinker v. Des Moines, and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. These landmark cases established precedents and had a large impact on the daily lives of current and future students. Laws commanding what is allowed, as well as required, to be taught in schools is another way in which the government shapes the opinions of today's youth. Learning certain things (rather than others) can change the way a student views the world. For example, being taught the Theory of Evolution rather than Creationism or abstinence rather than sexual education can mold a student's outlook on life. These are among the various ways the government influences the lives of students.
Taking a Government class can be beneficial in a number of ways. It can help students better comprehend, for instance, the basic structure of the institutions and authority figures that keep our great country running relatively smoothly. It can help them understand the viewpoints of their peers, their parents, and their community and the reasons behind these opinions. It can help answer the question, "Who has the power in America?". Government class not only teaches the bare facts, such as the procedures of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches, the requirements to hold office, and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, but also what they mean and why things are the way they are in this nation. Why do we have a bicameral legislative branch? Why have almost all of our Presidents been middle-aged Caucasian males? Why do we have a Bill of Rights and how far do our "guaranteed" privileges extend? Teaching young people about their government is one way to spark an interest in politics. If politicians never learned about their profession, then why would they be inspired to have a job in...

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